Italian President Giorgio Napolitano says he has no intention of resigning.
There had been speculation that he would quit before his term ends in May, in a bid to break the political stalemate created by recent elections.
“I will continue my term until the last day. I will not abandon my country and the difficulties that confront me,” said Napolitano.
“I still have confidence that we can overcome, in a responsible way, the challenges that Italy is facing.”
Efforts over the past week to form a government have failed, with centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani unable to win enough support from other parties.
Napolitano now says he will ask two groups of experts to come up with proposals for institutional and economic reforms, which can be supported by all sides.
Italians are craving some sort of stability, with their country in recession and unemployment at a record high.